How to Get an AVO Dismissed

In the context of an AVO, “dismissal” and “dropping” can be used somewhat interchangeably, but there might be slight differences in how they’re perceived or applied in legal contexts.

Dismissal typically refers to a formal decision made by a court to terminate or end the AVO. This could happen for various reasons, such as lack of evidence, a change in circumstances, or a determination that the order is no longer necessary or justified.

On the other hand, “dropping” an AVO might be a more informal way of describing the termination of the order. It could imply the action taken by either the person who initially sought the AVO (withdrawal) or a decision by the authorities or the court to cease the order.

In essence, both dismissal and dropping suggest the end or termination of the AVO, but “dismissal” often carries a more formal connotation tied to a court’s decision, while “dropping” might be used in a broader sense to describe the cessation of the order, including instances where it’s withdrawn or terminated by mutual agreement between the parties involved.

You may also want to have the conditions of the ADVO varied so that you have time with your children as per your parenting plan.

how to get an avo dropped

How to Get an AVO Dropped

Our firm recommends the following formula to get an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) dismissed:

  1. Seek independent legal advice as the protected person (PINOP). Note that this cannot be the defendant’s lawyer, nor someone from the same law firm as the defendant’s lawyer. It should be a law firm that has experienced AVO lawyers.

  2. Have the independent lawyer write a letter or statement requesting the withdrawal of the AVO on behalf of the protected person. The letter should explain the circumstances of the event and what has now changed between the two people.

  3. The defendant’s lawyer should draft and file “representations” with the police to withdraw the AVO. A good AVO lawyer will carefully draft submissions to the police to withdraw the AVO.

  4. Allow time for the police to decide whether to withdraw the AVO. You may be in court and you will need to adjourn the proceedings to give the police time to consider the representations.

  5. If the representations are accepted, then your AVO will be dropped. If the representations are not accepted, then the police may still want to proceed with the matter. If this is the case, you will need a good AVO lawyer to represent you in court to negotiate the terms of the AVO or to contest it completely.

In cases where a protected person wishes to withdraw a private AVO, the procedure involves a direct application to the court seeking the dismissal of the AVO.

It’s important to note that in private AVO proceedings, the applicant is the protected person, distinct from cases where the police typically act as the applicant in AVO matters.

The protected person who seeks to withdraw the AVO can do so by submitting a written request to the court explicitly stating the intent to dismiss the AVO.

AVO Lawyer Services

Hiring a lawyer with experience in domestic violence cases is highly suggested. A lawyer can help you understand the charges against you, how the court system works, and what could happen if you are found guilty.

  1. Review the evidence: Your lawyer will look at all of the evidence in the case, such as police reports, statements from witnesses, and any other important papers. This will help figure out how strong the Police’s case is and find any possible responses.
  2. Negotiate with the prosecution: Your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the Police and the Court about reducing or dropping the charges. This could mean making a deal with them or showing information that negatively impacts their case.
  3. Challenge the evidence: If the Police have good evidence, your lawyer may try to disprove it in court. This could mean questioning the witnesses’ trustworthiness, saying that the evidence was gathered illegally, or showing proof of your innocence.

Ways an AVO Can Be Dismissed

  • The AVO may be dismissed if the protected person fails to attend the court hearing. It’s important to note that this absence could prompt the court to issue an arrest warrant against the absentee.
  • The court has the authority to dismiss the AVO if the protected person provides testimony expressing a lack of fear or concern regarding the defendant. However, this exemption generally doesn’t apply if a child is involved in the AVO.
  • The court may dismiss the AVO if it finds inadequate evidence to substantiate the allegations of personal violence, intimidation, or stalking behaviour.
  • In rare instances of police-initiated applications, the court might dismiss an AVO if the police fail to present their evidence within the court-ordered timeline. However, typically, the court will schedule a final hearing and grant the police an opportunity to submit their evidence before proceeding.

These conditions outline circumstances under which an AVO might be dismissed by the court, emphasizing various scenarios related to the protected person’s appearance, evidence presented, and procedural aspects of the case.

Removing an Interim ADVO

An interim ADVO is a temporary order put in place while the matter is being processed by the court. It restricts behaviour and contact with the Protected Person in Need of Protection (PINOP).

An interim ADVO may be issued if you contest the ADVO and await a court decision or fail to attend a scheduled court appearance related to the ADVO. In exceptional cases, the immediate protection needs of the alleged PINOP may also prompt its issuance.

Defendant Challenging the Interim ADVO

You have the right to challenge an interim ADVO in court and request its removal. To support your case, demonstrating that the alleged risk doesn’t exist or providing evidence of malicious intent by the other party might help.

Should an interim AVO remain in effect for an extended duration until the conclusion of AVO proceedings, the court might choose to dismiss the AVO if no breaches occurred during this interim period.

This decision stems from the court’s potential assessment that the absence of AVO breaches suggests the ‘protected person’ lacks reasonable grounds for fear.


Removing a Final ADVO

If you’re seeking to remove a final ADVO, particularly in cases where it was issued based on suspected domestic violence without substantial evidence or a statement from the alleged Protected Person in Need of Protection (PINOP), certain strategies can help challenge and potentially lift the ADVO.

Ways ADVO Can Be Removed

In instances where the police applied for the ADVO without concrete evidence of the alleged violence and without a statement from the PINOP, there may be grounds to seek its removal.

If there’s evidence proving that the alleged PINOP deceived the police in obtaining the ADVO, this information can be presented in Court. Similar to contesting an interim ADVO, demonstrating that the ADVO was based on deceptive or misleading information can be pivotal.

Consulting legal professionals who specialize in such cases can provide invaluable guidance. They can assist in navigating the legal process, preparing a robust defence, and presenting your case effectively in court.

Vary an Apprehended Violence Order

Instead of dismissing an AVO, you may apply to vary an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).

You can apply to change the original orders made if you believe some of the orders are no longer necessary or too restrictive.

If the protected person objects to your application, both parties may need to prepare written statements explaining their position.

A hearing will then be scheduled where oral evidence can be given.

You must demonstrate that there has been a change in circumstances to show the court that the AVO should be varied.

You require the court’s permission to apply to vary an AVO and it is recommended to seek legal advice before doing so.